Saif Ullah Khan
Abubakar Khan was the toast of Faisalabad when his century inspired the side win this tournament after the rain-ravaged four-day final against Karachi Blues culminated in a predictable draw.
Replying to Karachi’s first innings tally of 227, Faisalabad were in serious trouble by stumps on Friday’s penultimate day at 52-4. But Abubakar engineered a great revival with a knock of 113 as Faisalabad made a tremendous comeback to post 338 — a lead of 111 runs on the first innings — all out in 81.3 overs.
With the second day completely washed out after Karachi Blues, who were put into bat by Misbah Ul Haq, had limped to 194-7 on the opening day, an outright result was out of question.
After taking the remaining three wickets on a truncated day’s play on Friday with left-arm paceman Waqas Maqsood picking up a brace to finish with five wickets for 71 runs in 17.3 overs, Faisalabad’s reply got off to a stuttering beginning. Guest player Ahmed Shehzad (1) and Misbah (six-ball duck) were among the casualties late on Friday.
Abubakar, who batted for 271 minutes and struck 19 boundaries during his 174-ball innings, and Atiq Ur Rehman (67 off 132 balls in 219 minutes with nine fours and one six)) then joined hands to put up a superb rearguard action as the two put on 182 for the fifth wicket. After they were both gone, wicket-keeper Ali Shan (51 off 67 balls, seven boundaries) and Waqas (55 off 45 balls, six fours and two sixes) further demoralized the visitors with handy contributions.
Slow left-armer Mohammad Asghar snared three wickets for 86 runs in 12.3 overs, while left-arm paceman Ghulam Mudassar (2-59 in 13 overs), pace-bowling all-rounder Hasan Mohsin (2-30 in 11) and off-spinner Ashiq Ali (2-67 in 13) shared six wickets among them. Left with a tricky period at the fag end of the match, Karachi Blues lost four wickets in making 28 runs in their second innings.
As a result, the match ended up in a draw which was played under the supervision of Bilal Khilji as the match referee and umpires being Ghaffar Kazmi and Qaiser Waheed.
Habib Bank won the first Quaid-E-Azam trophy in 2010-11 beating defending champions SNGPL in the final while the 2018-19 edition is won by the much favorite Faisalabad team who baggd the prize money: of 500,000/- while Karachi Blues being the runner up team got 250,000/- worth of cash prize.
The other prizes include:
Man of the match: Abu Bakar Khan (Faisalabad Region): 50,000/-
Best Batsman: Abu Bakar Khan (Faisalabad Region) 459 runs: 50,000/-
Best Bowler: Muhammad Asghar (Karachi Region B) 33 wickets: 50,000/-
Best wicket keeper: Raja Farhan (AJK Region) 16 catches & 3 stumps: 50,000/-